Revision Control Migration and History Corruption

As most people probably know, the Gnome project is planning a migration to Subversion. In contrast, I’ve decided to move development of jhbuild over to bzr. This decision is a bit easier for me than for other Gnome modules because:

  • No need to coordinate with GDP or GTP, since I maintain the docs and there is no translations.
  • Outside of the moduleset definitions, the large majority of development and commits are done by me.
  • There aren’t really any interesting branches other than the mainline.

I plan to leave the Gnome module set definitions in CVS/Subversion though, since many people help in keeping them up to date, so leaving them there has some value.

I performed a test conversion using Tailor 0.9.20. My first attempt at performing the conversion failed part way through. Looking at what had been imported, it was apparent that the first few changesets created weren’t the first changesets I’d created in CVS. What was weirder still was the dates on those changesets: they were dated 1997, while I hadn’t started jhbuild til 2001.

It turns out that it was caused by clock skew on the CVS server back in September 2003, so the revision dates for a few files are not monotonic. I did the quick fix of directly editing the RCS files (I was working off a local copy of the repo), which allowed the conversion to run through to completion. The problem has been reported as bug #37 in Tailor’s bug tracker.

This made me a bit worried about whether the CVS to Subversion conversion script being used for the rest of the Gnome modules was also vulnerable to this sort of clock skew problem. Sure enough it was, and the first real changeset of jhbuild had been imported as revision 323.

I did a bit more checking of the CVS repository, and found that there were 98 other modules exhibiting clock skew in their revision history, spread over 1245 files (some files with multiple points of skew). I’ve only checked the SVN test conversions of some of these modules, but all the ones I checked exhibited the same type of corruption.

It is going to be a fair bit of work cleaning it all up before the final conversion.

Bugzilla to Malone Migration

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The Bugzilla migration on Friday went quite well, so we’ve now got all the old Ubuntu bug reports in Launchpad. Before the migration, we were up to bug #6760. Now that the migration is complete, there are more than 28000 bugs in the system. Here are some quick points to help with the transition:

  • All accounts were migrated to Launchpad accounts with a few caveats:
    1. If you already had a Launchpad account with your bugzilla email address associated with it, then the existing Launchpad account was used.
    2. No passwords were migrated from Bugzilla, due to differences in the method of storing them. You can set the password on the account at
    3. If you had a Launchpad account but used a different email to the one on your Bugzilla account, then you now have two Launchpad accounts. You can merge the two accounts at
  • If you have a bug number, you can find the corresponding Launchpad bug number with the following URL:$BUGZILLA_ID

    This will redirect to the Launchpad bug watching that bugzilla bug. This URL can easily be used to make a Firefox keyword bookmark.

  • You can file bugs on Ubuntu at Note that the form expects a source package name rather than a binary package name. If you only have a binary package name, you can use the following command to find the source package name:

    apt-cache show $packagename | grep ^Source:

    We’ll make it easier to enter bugs when you only know the binary package name in the future.

  • The Launchpad data model for bugs differs from Bugzilla in that a single bug can be targetted at multiple packages or products (internally, we call these bug tasks). To change information about a bug task (source package name, assignee, status, priority, severity, etc), you must first click on the bug target in the “fix requested in” table at the top of the bug page.

There are still a few issues that need to be ironed out. The mailing lists subscribed to most Ubuntu bugs are not yet properly configured to accept mail from Launchpad, so result in “held for moderation” messages. These issues should get fixed shortly.

gnome-gpg improvement

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The gnome-gpg utility makes PGP a bit nicer to use on Gnome with the following features:

  • Present a Gnome password entry dialog for passphrase entry.
  • Allow the user to store the passphrase in the session or permanent keyring, so it can be provided automatically next time.

Unfortunately there are a few usability issues:

  • The anonymous/authenticated user radio buttons are displayed in the password entry dialog, while they aren’t needed.
  • The passphrase is prompted for even if gpg does not require it to complete the operation.
  • If the passphrase is entered incorrectly, the user is not prompted for it again like they would be with plain gpg.
  • If an incorrect passphrase is provided by gnome-keyring-daemon, you need to remove the item using gnome-keyring-manager or use the --force-passphrase command line argument.

I put together a patch to fix these issues by using gpg‘s --status-fd/--command-fd interface. Since this provides status information to gnome-gpg, it means it knows when to prompt for and send the passphrase, and when it gave the wrong passphrase.

I also swiped the zenity_util_show_dialog() function from Zenity to make the password dialog a transient of the terminal that ran it, so the passphrase dialog stays on the same desktop and can’t be obscured by that terminal.

The changes can be found here:–devel–0

(a Bazaar 1.x branch, since Colin was using Arch).

There are still a few issues with handling non-password prompts from gpg, but it works quite well for the basics.

Ubuntu Bugzilla Migration

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The migration is finally going to happen, after much testing of migration code and improvements to Malone.

If all goes well, Ubuntu will be using a single bug tracker again on Friday (as opposed to the current system where bugs in main go in Bugzilla and bugs in universe go in Malone).